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FLORIDA EXPRESSES DEEP DISATISFACTION WITH ITS ENERGY MOGULS

15 Mar 2013

GREEN PARTY OF FLORIDA MAKES ITS ANNUAL REPORT. On 12 Mar 2013, the second anniversary of the Fukushima tragic triple meltdown, the Green Party of Florida, USA expresses condolences to Japanese victims of this ongoing disaster, and solidarity with the people of Japan who have mobilized a growing popular movement against Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) in Japan. The explosions and triple-meltdowns at Fukushima, have released massive quantities of deadly radiation into the air, land, and sea; worse yet, the negative health effects of the Fukushima disaster are global, and the long-life transuranic radioactive isotopes that have been released continue to leak into the soil, air and water, and will continue to cause sickness and premature death for many generations yet unborn.

“PERMANENT CLOSURE” OF THE CRYSTAL RIVER NPP” The Green Party of Florida (GPFL) welcomes Duke Energy’s permanent closure of the “Crystal River” Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) which is damaged, and would have required an investment of several billion dollars to repair/upgrade.  Not cost-effective for an aging reactor scheduled for decommissioning in 2016.  Jennifer Sullivan, co-chair of the GPFL said: “Crystal River” NPP already presents a massive long-term radioactive waste problem, and there is currently no plan for safely disposing of the hundreds of tons of highly radioactive fuel rods that are stored there…Why should Florida utility ratepayers be forced to subsidize a ridiculously expensive nuclear power plant in Levy County, which will put the entire Nature Coast at risk?” GPFL further, calls on Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light to cancel all new nuclear projects in Florida and return Cost Recovery funds to customers.

GPFL CALLS ON ITS STATE GOVERNANCE FOR HELP AGAINS ENERGY BARONS. GPFL called on USA Florida Gov. Scott, and its State Legislature to become better informed about the risks and real costs of nuclear power and fossil fuels, and to lead Florida in a bold 21st Century Clean (green) Energy Initiative that invests in: conservation & efficiency, solar, and other green renewable energy.  Michael Canney, GPFL spokesperson said: “As we mark the 2nd anniversary of the still-unfolding Fukushima nuclear disaster, the grave risks of operating these aging nuclear power plants beyond their original life span should be reconsidered… GPFL has always opposed the NRC’s rubber stamping of 20-year license extensions and ‘upgrades’ for aging nuclear power plants in the USA, so that big utilities can avoid decommissioning and continue generating profits…This practice is a dangerous form of nuclear “Russian Roulette” that will unnecessarily put public health and safety at risk, when there are safer and much more economical alternatives available. Decommissioning Crystal River is the right thing to do.”

PROBLEM IS: DUKE ENERGY PLANS TWO NEW NPPs in rural “Levy County” with funds collected in advance from their utility customers. If the current $24 Billion cost estimates are accurate, these NPPs will be the most expensive ever built; worse yet, consume millions of gallons of water every day, and put at risk the precious aquifer and freshwater springs of the Nature Coast.  Rather than wait for a ruling by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board on a pending legal challenge to the project, which is focused on protection of the local and regional water resources from the negative impacts of the “Levy County NPP”.  Duke Energy should immediately announce its cancellation of the boondoggle, and refund the money the company has already charged its customers under the ill-conceived “Nuclear Cost Recovery” law, which GPFL, and others have called a “license to steal.”

NAT-GAS IS A TEMPORARY SOLUTION AT BEST.  Duke Energy’s plan to replace aging NPPs, and coal-fired base load generation facilities, with Nat-gas generators on the premise that Nat-gas is only about half as carbon producing as coal for plant generation, may make sense from a business perspective, but burning more fossil fuels is at best only a temporary solution.  What is urgently needed is a commitment by our elected officials, and the Merchant utilities to move beyond the dead-end fossil fuel energy economy to an energy policy that promotes conservation, efficiency and clean, sustainable energy technologies, instead of wasting billions on NPP expansion.  Further, Florida should invest in a bold new green energy initiative because it would create thousands of “green energy” jobs.

ENERGY CONSERVATION AND EFFICIENCY ARE SEEN AS NECESSARY.  GPFL views Instituting statewide efficiency and conservation measures an immediate priority because “energy we don’t use” alone, could avoid the need for another large base load plant, Steve Showen, GPFL Co-chair said: “When all the costs and risks are taken into consideration, nuclear power is a bad investment, and a dead-end technology. It should not be subsidized at the expense of investing in energy efficiency, and cleaner and safer sustainable energy technologies, that will reduce dangerous wastes and toxic emissions…With alternative technologies becoming now as cheap as fossil fuel systems, even Nat-gas, the door is open to a new world of safe, clean and secure energy production. The USA is falling behind in the global manufacture, sales and installation of these systems, held hostage by our domestic fossil fuel and nuclear industries.”

A BETTER GRID IS NEEDED.  GPFL strongly believes the “Sunshine State (Florida)” has a golden opportunity to lead the way in deploying currently available, clean and sustainable technologies, and incorporating them into a more modern/efficient grid. Investing in locally produced energy, and allowing smaller independent producers to sell energy to a smart grid, would make our state’s energy grid more resilient to extreme natural or man-made disasters.

GPFL CALLS UPON ITS STATE GOVERNMENT FOR GREEN ENERGY Gov. Scott, the Florida legislature and the Public Service Commission should support a bold and innovative 21st Century Clean Energy Initiative that prioritizes conservation and efficiency, and invests in wind, solar and other clean renewables. Citizens need and deserve an energy policy that is based on the best interests of Floridians, rather than the financial interests of private energy companies that have only profit at heart, with no real concern for public safety.

Thanks to Green Party:  http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=596 , 11 mar 2013

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OUR VIEW AND COMMENTARY

FLORIDA’S ENERGY CONCERNS CLEARLY ARTICULATE THOSE OF THE USA AT LARGE.  Americans everywhere sense the urgent need to embark on an ambitious transition to renewable energy sources in all modalities, and to unshackle ourselves from the energy Barons of the past.  The world can no longer endure/tolerate the continued “business as usual” attitude of the USA’s fossil-fuel, and Uranium NPP’s.  The reasons are plain: We cannot tolerate/condone being the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gasses (you thought it was China HUH! ), as well as the world’s largest producer of transuranic nuclear waste produced by the Merchant NPP fleet (and others) of over 100 NPP’s.  Problem is, the Coal, Oil, and Uranium Industry clearly put profit above all other considerations, and even public/global safety (now and in the years to come). Such disregard for the global environment is highly unbecoming of the USA, and would bring shame on our citizenry if the mainstream news media did not “hush” all such news.  Such is the corruptive  effect of such huge capital upon mainstream media that, like a black hole in space it first distorts, and then swallows forever any light upon the truth. Even so, Florida is unlike any other USA State.

FLORIDA’S GRAVE CONCERNS ARISE FROM ITS NATURAL VULNERABILITIES:  Being a peninsula with thousands of miles of low-lying coastal areas susceptible to extreme natural events such as:  rising sea-level, being located in the frequent path of hurricanes (and consequential high tides, and beach erosion), earthquake prone zones, with its inland terrain susceptible to “sink-holes” caused by weakening calcium carbonate (caliche) in its sub-soil, and many miles of roads that are susceptible to extreme weather events such as the many miles long bridge to Key Largo.  To all of this add a burgeoning population of “imported” wildlife such as several species of reptiles and dangerous snakes (poisonous and constrictive).  One wonders why anyone would like to live there, but they do, and by the millions seeking Florida’s sunny weather, and tranquil retirement communities.  Unfortunately, not all that glitters is gold! That is why the Spanish Conqistadores did not remain there.

FLORIDA’S FIVE (5) NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

Progress Energy’s “Crystal River Plant, Unit 3” – 2,609 Mw – licensed until 2016 (80 miles n Location: Crystal River, FL (80 miles N of Tampa, FL)
Operator: Florida Power & Light Corp.
Operating License: Issued – 12/03/1976
License Expires: 12/03/2016–  scheduled for “permanent closure” in 2013. – whatever that means !  Please see http://energymaters.com/?p=559 regarding decommissioning of NPPs.

Reactor Type: Pressurized Boiling Water Reactor (PBWR)
Licensed MW: 2,609
Reactor Vendor/Type: Babcock & Wilcox Lowered Loop
Containment Type: Dry, Ambient Pressure

FLORIDA POWER AND LIGHT – TURKEY- POINT, UNIT 3 (41 years since built)

Location: Homestead, FL (25 miles S. of Miami, FL).
Operator: Florida Power & Light Co.
Operating License: Issued – 07/19/1972
Renewed License: Issued – 06/06/2002
License Expires: 07/19/2032 Reactor Type: Pressurized Boiling Water Reactor (PBWR)
Licensed MW: 2,300
Reactor Vendor/Type: Westinghouse Three-Loop
Containment Type: Dry, Ambient Pressure

FLORIDA POWER AND LIGHT – TURKEY- POINT, UNIT 4 (40 years since built).

Location: Homestead, FL (25 miles S of Miami, FL)

Operating License: Issued – 04/10/1973
Renewed License: Issued – 06/06/2002
License Expires: 04/10/2033
Reactor Type: Pressurized Boiling Water Reactor (PBWR)
Licensed MW: 2,300
Reactor Vendor/Type: Westinghouse Three-Loop
Containment Type: Dry, Ambient Pressure

Additionally, there are two (2) NPPs in nearby Georgia (about 186 miles from Palm Coast):  Edwin I. Hatch Unit 1 & Unit 2….  Data herein provided by the USA- NRC @ http://www.nrc.gov

FLORIDA’S POWER-POLITICS STINK TO HIGH HEAVEN.  In the USA, we all know about Florida’s presidential election antics, illegalities, voter-rights denials, missing vote boxes, and vote count foot-dragging; Unfortunately, power-politics are deeply rooted in big money such as as that generated by the Uranium Nuclear Industry, and coal cartel.  Florida is a prime example of that.  Heretofore the Merchant nuclear industry in Florida has managed to buy political favor.  Politicians call it “lobbying”, but we all know it is “Payola”- plain and simple. Defined as politicians accepting payment to support, or oppose legislation, for private gain.

A LICENCE TO STEAL In Florida the political power-play has reached a level that legally allows NPP owners to steal on a daily basis from all Florida power users without recourse.  The ill-conceived “Nuclear Cost Recovery” law which GPFL and others, have rightly called a license to steal.  Put plainly, they charge all Floridians in advance for the construction of NPPs (such as the “Levy County NPP”), even though they know will never be built.  How do NPP planners/owners know ? …Well simply because the USA- NRC has enacted a new rule called The “Waste Confidence” rule.  USA-NRC Dr. Allison M. Mc Farlane began her appointment by tackling the thorny issue of “Nuclear Waste Disposal” by the USA Nuclear fleet of about 104 Commercial NPPs.  On 09 Sep 2012, Dr. Mc Farlane said: “Resolving this issue successfully is a commission priority…Waste (disposal) confidence plays a core role in many major licensing actions.”

“WASTE CONFIDENCE”- DEFINED: According to the NRC, “Waste Confidence” is a generic term implying that spent nuclear fuel can be safely stored for decades beyond the licensed operating life of a reactor; without significant environmental effects”. In the past that rule has enabled the NRC to license, or renew licenses without examining the effects of extended waste storage at individual sites; However, the Appeals Court said, the NRC should have considered the potential environmental impact in the event a permanent disposal site for used fuel is never built, and it cited deficiencies in the NRC’s consideration of leaks and fires involving spent fuel pools.  See: http://energymaters.com/?p=941 .

NO REAL PLAN TO BUILD Now then, surely Florida NPP developers know they have no chance in hell of meeting the Waste Confidence rule, but they go on charging their customers for  “Nuclear Cost Recovery” just because they can, and because they are accruing Billions to be spent on “planning, licenses, and preliminary design (in reality Billions spent greasing political and other officials palms, and for useless studies awarded to their friends and usual cohorts to legitimize the expenses) with current $24 Billion cost estimates.  Since NPP Proponents will surely fail to satisfy the USA NRC- Waste Confidence rule, somewhere down the road (probably before ground breaking), they will decide to cancel the project and forfeit all Nuclear Cost Recovery funds collected on the basis that they have been spent on Licensing, preliminary design, studies, etc.

SIMILAR PLOY OCCURRED IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS a few years ago. In my home town of San Antonio, Texas we stopped such a movement by “biting the bullet” and cutting our losses at $450 millions used on a “time and Materials” contract THAT WAS INTERPRETED AS A BLANK CHECK.  How sweet it is! Guilty people were coming out of the woodwork at City, County, and State level, but even then no-one went to jail.  Impunity begets corruption and public distrust that eventually surfaces at all socio-economic levels.  It is a societal cancer.  Floridians should stand up to these bullies, and make their dissatisfaction known.  Tell them you know their game, and won’t stand for it!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


March 15, 2013 at 11:51 PM Comments (7)